By Tanisha Bell
The stakes should be raised when it comes to protecting the public from violence in targeted locations such as schools and shopping centers but not at the expense of civil liberties.
Too many innocent lives have been taken, and there is no telling how many more innocent lives will be taken if we do not buckle down with better-enforced security and protection systems.
We recently had another sad reminder in Southern California. The April 10 shooting at North Park Elementary School in San Bernardino was the latest incident where innocent lives were taken.
This incident started as a domestic dispute between a man and his wife, a teacher at the school. According to news reports, the husband made his way to his wife’s classroom and shot 10 rounds from a .357 Magnum handgun. He killed her, an innocent child, severely wounded another child and then killed himself.
If there was a better security or protection system, could this have been prevented? Maybe.
There can be several responses to such question, however, it is certain that if we had a stricter system, it could have decreased the chances.
Some, however, are suggesting we use the military to keep us safe. That idea has come as a suggestion in Chicago, where violence is reaching endemic levels, but San Bernardino also gave the concept voice in California.
On the Big Boy radio show, the day after the shooting, the on-air personality on Real 92.3 hosted an open forum on the shooting. One caller suggested enforcing Martial Law, a statement that bothered me so much that it made my skin crawl.
As it currently stands, there is not enough patience, respect or equality given or shown in this country to our individual rights. Martial law would take away even more of our rights.
Imposing martial law, where the military is put in charge of government, may offer more protection, but at what cost? Military rule would worsen our lives by removing our freedoms.
Civil liberties may be suspended, such as the right to be free from searches and seizures, freedom of association and freedom of movement. Can you imagine?
Better choices than martial law include raising the stakes on protection and high security in public locations. We need to keep everyone safe, but using the military, or worse, military rule, is not the way to do it.
We need to buckle down on security and employ more security guards or patrol officers, not just at banks, doctors’ offices and malls, but also at schools, theaters and, sad as this is to say, churches as well.
But martial law just goes too far.